The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 63 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we briefly cover yet another folding device patent that will be added to Patently Apple’s growing archive. It’s a very different design from all others that Apple has presented over the years.
Apple’s patent that broadly covers foldable devices notes that a flexible display in an electronic device may have a bendable portion that overlaps the bend axis. In this type of arrangement, the electronic device may be used in a folded configuration in which portability is enhanced and an unfolded configuration in which the display is unfolded for use.
While folding smartphones have been covered before, one unique folding configuration popped in patent FIG. 6 as presented below.
Apple notes that the protruding display portion #14P (sometimes referred to as an uncovered display region or uncovered persistently exposed display area etc.) may be used to display any suitable content. As an example, notifications of incoming messages (emails, text messages, etc.), calendar content (e.g., meeting reminders), alerts (e.g., alarms, location-based alerts, etc.), battery status, wireless signal strength, airplane mode status, and other status information may be displayed on protruding display portion 14P by control circuitry.
The uncovered persistently exposed display area may also be used by the control circuitry to display icons (e.g., icons associated with default applications and/or a set of frequently used and/or user-defined applications) and/or other content.
The content that is displayed may be interactive (e.g., the content may include selectable on-screen items such as selectable icons, selectable virtual buttons, selectable menu options, and/or other selectable content).
Selectable content may be selected by supplying user input to select a displayed item (e.g., with an overlapping touch sensor and/or force sensor and/or with nearby touch sensors,force sensors, buttons, etc.).
Apple’s granted patent that was issued today by USPTO was originally filed in Q2 2018 but not publicly published until now that it’s been granted.